Albert Pujols is Albert Pujols , and let’s not forget that. Even though he’s gotten off to a slow start in 2012, he will rebound, and the past week might be the week we all remember as “the week King Albert started dominating again.” In his last seven games, Pujols is hitting .321 with two homeruns, but it’s not just the stats that are encouraging, it’s the way he’s using the whole field like he does when he dominates.
When King Albert is right, he’s driving the ball to the opposite field. During the first month of the season he wasn’t doing this, though. Maybe that massive contract he signed during the offseason was getting to him.
Until just a couple weeks ago, Pujols looked like he was very anxious which led to several weak groundballs and fly balls to the left side of the field— a sign of a slump. But over the past week Pujols has looked much more confident and patient at the plate, which is leading to some much needed success. His last two homeruns have been to straight away centerfield and to dead right field at Angels Stadium.
It wasn’t that long ago when the Angels considered moving Pujols down in the batting order because he simply wasn’t doing anything. In fact, on May 8th, Pujols was hitting .190 and he was even hearing boos from the home crowd. Everything seemed like a train wreck for Angel’s fans at that point. The team was losing, Pujols wasn’t right, and all that money they spent during the offseason was the laughing stock of the entire league. But more than a week later, Pujols has raised his batting average to .215, he’s hitting the ball out of the park, and the club is starting to win a few more games.
The Angels still aren’t where they want to be in the standings, but they’re making progress. When Pujols fully returns to his usual, dominating form, they will start to win games in bunches. I would be shocked if King Albert doesn’t end the year hitting .300 with at least 30 homeruns and 100 runs batted in. Last year was the first season in his 11+ year career that he didn’t end the year with a batting average .300 or higher with at least 100 runs batted in, and he even missed a month of action with a hand injury.
I would just warn the rest of the American League that Albert Pujols is about ready to breakout because not one pitcher will want to pitch to him in a couple weeks.